Subscriber login Close [x]
remember me
You are not logged in.

Harpers March for the Independents campaign kicks off with retailer survey

Published:  02 February, 2015

Today marks the official start of Harpers March for the Independents campaign which over the next month will put the spotlight firmly on the needs and trading issues facing independent wine merchants.

Over the next four weeks Harpers will be running a series of separate Action Weeks focusing on different business issues and giving independents the chance to get involved and have their say.

The campaign is being driven through with a new dedicated March for the Independents area in the Campaigns section of the site.

The campaign culminates on March 3 with a special one day conference for independent wine merchants at London's St Ermin hotel.

Before then and throughout February merchants will be able to take part in the following Action Week campaigns:

ACTION WEEK 1 February 2-8 Getting the most out of your suppliers 

ACTION WEEK 2 February 9-15  Getting your local media and MP on your side

ACTION WEEK 3 February 16-22 Getting on top of your business

ACTION WEEK 4 February 23-March 2 What you should be be buying and selling

Each week's campaign will go live on the Monday building up the campaign's activity and impact over the course of the month.

The campaign kicks off today with Action Week 1 which is dedicated to helping merchants work more effectively with their suppliers.

Throughout the week Harpers will be offering advice and information about how merchants can work closer with their suppliers and in particular how they can get them involved in the Harpers Best Practice Guidelines that sets out trading principles for how suppliers should work with independents.

It will also give merchants the chance to send a templated letter drafted by Harpers to those suppliers that have not signed up to the Guidelines urging them to do so. 

To help determine what issues really matter to independents and how well they are getting on with their suppliers Harpers is kick-starting the campaign by asking merchants to take part in an online retailer survey.

The findings will help shape a better understanding of what really concerns independents as well as offer insights in to which wines, spirits and countries are selling well in the sector and what opportunities retailers see in the future.

Merchants can download and fill in the survey here and stand a chance of winning £100 in Amazon vouchers if they do.

The findings will be revealed in our March issue and at the special independents conference in London on March 3.

How to get involved

Over the rest of the month independents will be able to:

  • Call on the support of their local media and ask them to come and hear their story and the part they play in the local community
  • Join the Drop the Duty campaign and urge their local MP to demand the Chancellor cuts alcohol duty in his Budget March for the first time since 1984 
  • Get on top of their business and download specially created and sourced forms on set topics covering areas including business and employment law, wine and spirits regulations, and SME business advice
  • Receive latest off-trade sales figures pin pointing areas that promise the best opportunity for sales in wines and spirits

As the month progresses we want to hear from independent wine merchants about how all these issues affect them and, where possible, what direct steps they have taken to get involved in the specific Action Weeks.

We want to hear:

  • how merchants are working with their local MP and media and what successes they have telling their story
  • how merchants keep on top of the latest business regulations
  • what steps they are taking to go direct and import wines and spirits themselves and the benefits and challenges they bring
  • what changes they have made to their wine and spirits ranges to maximise sales, understand what consumers are looking for and make sure they have the right products on sale
  • how merchants are looking to grow and expand their business either through opening more sites, or developing a wine bar or food themed offer.

To keep on top of all the activities related to the March for the Independents campaign go to the dedicated area of the site or you can follow the social media updates on Twitter at @HarpersWine and @RichardSiddle or via #March4Indies.